What Does a Medical Scribe Do?
Medical scribes record patient information in real-time during patient encounters. Documenting the patient’s medical history, physical examination findings, diagnostic tests ordered, treatment plans, and other relevant information is the scribe’s primary responsibility.
A medical scribe typically assists physicians, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare providers in hospitals, clinics, and other facilities. During patient encounters, they document the encounter using a computer or other electronic device. A provider can then focus on patient care rather than on documentation.
A medical scribe needs excellent communication skills, excellent attention to detail, and a thorough understanding of medical terminology and procedures. Their work contributes to improved patient care by ensuring accurate and complete medical records.
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National Average Salary
Medical scribe salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Medical Scribe is:
Medical Scribe Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great medical scribe is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
[Your Company Name] is seeking a detail-oriented medical scribe to work at our facility. You will be working very closely with our physicians when they meet with patients and transcribing patient notes into their digital medical records. The scribe provides real-time charting by shadowing the physician throughout their schedule and performs a variety of tasks including recording the patient’s history and chief complaints, transcribing the physical exam, ordering X-rays, recording diagnostic test results, and coordinating with departmental resources regarding tests, orders, radiology, and results. Our ideal candidate has experience working in the medical field and comes to work with a friendly attitude every day.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Observe patient-physician interactions and document each patient’s electronic health records
- Enter orders or referrals on behalf of the physician
- Gather information from the patient’s visit that’s important to document
- Partner with the physician to deliver efficient patient care under the direction of a nurse or other medical professional
- Assist the physician when asked
- Document procedures, lab results, dictated radiographic impressions made by the physician, and more
- Adhere to HIPPA laws
Education and experience
- High School Diploma
- College Degree or Certification (CMSA or CMSP) a plus
- At least 1 yr experience with electronic health records
- Experience in urgent care preferred
- Recent medical scribing experience preferred
Required skills and qualifications
- Must be familiar with medical terminology in the field you’re working in
- Capable of precisely transcribing patient care and appointment details
- Up to date computer skills
- Ability to keep patient details confidential and private
- Excellent navigation of multitasking, organization, and time management skills
- Must respond well to high-pressure situations in an efficient manner
- Possess advanced communication skills (both written and verbal)
- Good people skills
- Capabile of keeping up in a fast-paced environment
- Ability to work in a team with colleagues
- Ability to type at least 60 words per minute
- Experience with transcption
- Familiarity with most medical terminology across medical fields
- Intermediate working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications
- Knowledge of medical EMR software
The Medical Scribe performs a variety of clerical but is not limited to, assisting a medical provider with fundamental patient care. Compliance with care management requirements and HEDIS measures in an outpatient examining room setting under the direction of a registered nurse and/or physician.
- Escort a physician in order to document the events in the history and physical exam, and document accurately the physical examination
- List all symptoms and diagnoses including laboratory tests, medication orders, treatment, etc.
- Document all procedures performed by the physician
- Verifies patient information by interviewing patient, recording medical history, confirming purpose of visit
- Performing post-treatment physical tests: taking blood pressure and body temperature, and recording patient history summary
- Secures patient information and maintains patient confidence by completing and safeguarding medical records
- Maintains a safe, secure, and healthy work environment by establishing and following standards and procedures; complying with legal regulations
- Serves and protects the practice by adhering to professional standards, policies, and procedures, federal, state, and local requirements
- Medical Assistant Certification
- Medical terminology
- Recognition of the physical exam process and ability to record exam details
- Computer proficiency and ability to quickly learn new applications
- Organizational skills with a focus on tracking patient care and improving patient flow
- A High School Diploma or equivalent is required and at least two (2) years of experience as a Medical Assistant, Phlebotomist, or in additional areas of patient health care in a clinical setting
You’ll be on the “front line” of the medical field, seeing the world through the eyes of a provider and interacting with people from all walks of life. As an integral member of the care team, you’ll act as a physician’s personal efficiency partner. Most importantly, you’ll make a difference in people’s lives and be a part of the future of healthcare.
Whether it’s helping you gain entrance into medical/nursing school, giving you priceless advice and insight, or just leading by example as a consummate professional, your partnering physician will profoundly affect your future as a healthcare professional. Your scribe experience—the people you meet, the relationships you develop, and the encounters you witness— will change your life!
Why ABC Company is the best:
- Work one-on-one with physicians and other healthcare providers
- Gain exposure to over 80+ different specialties
- Observe a wide variety of cases. from trauma to pediatrics
- Build your professional network and find mentorship in your partnering physicians
- Paid training to all hired employees that provides a crash course in medicine including terminology, disease processes, procedures, medications, medical decision-making, and more
- Great alternative career for those with CNA, MA, EMT, or Paramedic backgrounds
- Flexible scheduling options, with in-person and remote opportunities
- Unique travel options and a great team culture
As a scribe you will:
- Accompany the healthcare provider into patient examination rooms in order to transcribe the patient’s history, physical exam findings, consultations, labs, X-rays, and other evaluations, as stated by the provider, directly into the medical record
- Prepare plans for follow-up care, as directed by the provider
- Process admitted and discharge paperwork
- Provide advanced support to providers, including documenting phone calls, alerting the physician with labs/radiology reports are complete, grabbing faxes, etc.
Qualifications and requirements:
- Outpatient and Hospitalist schedules will require weekday availability. (ie: M-F 8-5)
- The minimum availability required for our medical scribe position is 2 shifts per week; shifts range from 8 to 12 hours long
- It is the Company’s hope that this will be a long-term position. This is not intended to be a seasonal position
- Candidates must be available to work in the local area for at least a year. No summer-only positions.
- Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Must have a passion for medicine and a desire to grow
- Must be adaptable and be willing to take constructive criticism
- Ability to multitask and prioritize
- Ability to work in a stressful and fast-paced environment
- Ability to operate a computer and/or laptop through proficient typing, clicking, and viewing a monitor for extended periods
- Ability to type at least 60 words per minute preferred
- Ability to move about and follow a healthcare provider for extended periods of time
- Ability to read, write, comprehend through listening, and speak fluent English
- Must have a computer or access to a computer for virtual/online training
- Background in pre-health sciences, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, kinesiology, or other similar field preferred. No previous clinical experience required
About the role
We are seeking Medical Scribe with a strong interest in medicine. The Medical Scribe works 1:1 with a variety of medical professionals and documents the patient visit in an EHR. As part of our team, you will have the ability to gain experience in different medical specialties while collaborating with a team of young, talented professionals working to revolutionize healthcare.
The Medical Scribe will create medical notes for providers remotely into the EHR from their own homes located in the US. The Medical Scribe is responsible for documenting the history of present illness, past medical and family history, review of systems, physical exam, diagnostic studies, and plan for the providers. ABC Company’s Medical Scribe is also responsible for preparing charts and cards for the provider at the beginning of each day. The Medical Scribe will be required to learn the preferences of a variety of different providers and must pass assessments and quality checks on a regular basis in order to remain assigned to a provider.
- Assist physicians in documenting the patient’s medical record (EMR)
- Navigate the EMR with the assistance of patient care
- Assist physicians in a variety of specialties including primary care, orthopedics, rheumatology, etc.
- Prior clinical experience required such as volunteering, shadowing, clinical research, scribing, paramedic training, or being a medical assistant
- Excellent spelling and typing skills
- Knowledge of medical terminology is highly preferred
- Self-sufficient and quick to learn
- Professional and reliable work ethic
- Successful completion of ABC Company’s RDS Training Program within the first 30 days of employment
- Must have access to a completely private workspace with reliable internet
- Must have consistent availability and ability to work shifts between 5 am to 5 pm PST
- Familiarity with navigating the electronic medical record (EMR) is highly preferred
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Ophthalmic Scribe Certification (OSC). Created to assess the skill level of candidates in transcribing and maintaining patient records under the supervision of an ophthalmologist, an OSC requires the passing of the exam and recertification every three years.
- Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT). In order to obtain a CMT, two-plus years of education or training after high school is required. Candidates also need two years of work experience and to pass the exam. Recertification is not needed.
- Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). RHIT requires that candidates have two plus years of training or education after high school and that you pass the RHIT exam. Recertification is required every three years.
How to Hire a Medical Scribe
When hiring a medical scribe, first consider the following:
- Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
- Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
- Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
- Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
- Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
- Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?
Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:
1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)
The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.
This is the best route to take when:
- You need to fill the position quickly
- You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
- Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
- You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff.
- You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
2. Hire an experienced freelancer
The freelance, or gig, economy continues to grow, with more talent available daily. Freelancers provide high-quality work without a long-term commitment. They can offer you a fresh perspective, more flexibility, and increase efficiency. While the freelance market isn’t ideal for every position, medical scribes are often a great fit.
We recommend this option when:
- Your need is project-based
- The work can be performed remotely
- You do not intend to direct the daily work activity
- You are hiring for expertise your internal team does not possess
- You do not require an employee to work onsite or follow a specific schedule
When hiring a medical scribe, we recommend using Upwork.
Upwork is a freelance talent network that helps individuals connect with experts in a variety of fields to accomplish project-based needs. When you have a specific, well-defined goal in mind, this can be a great path to hiring an experienced medical scribe. If you are satisfied with the outcome you can continue to book the same freelancer through Upwork’s easy-to-use project interface.
3. Advertise your opening on a top job board
Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice.
We recommend using a job board when:
- Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
- You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort
- You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
- You are prepared to respond to all applicants
We recommend CareerBuilder when hiring a medical scribe:
CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.
4. Leverage your internal resources
You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates.
A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.
Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.
We recommend these options when:
- Your brand has great name recognition
- You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
- You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
- You have an effective employee referral program in place
If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.
Sample Interview Questions
- Do you have any medical experience? Elaborate.
- Do you have extensive knowledge of medical terminology? Please elaborate.
- How would you respond if the patient had a medical emergency in the middle of the patient-physician interaction?
- How would you respond if your physician found a mistake in the medical record you transcribed?
- Walk me through your procedure for admitting a new patient and prepping them for their appointment with the physician.
- Tell me about your transcription skillset, mainly your typing speed and accuracy.
- Have you taken any medical scribe-related courses?
- Are you willing to pursue additional certifications pertaining to medical records?
- What are your strategies for staying calm and on task in a chaotic work environment?
- What qualities do you possess that would make you successful as a medical scribe?
- How do you feel about working with others?
- What would you say are three of your strengths?
- Have you ever had to work as a team with others?